A Gateway to Islamic Civilization in Punjab.
This city is named after one of the relatives of Nawab of Bahawalpur. Its earlier name was “Naushehra” and the canal running through the city is named Naushehra Minor, which bears testimony of its old name. An early name of this city has also been mentioned. It was “Phul Wadha”.
Mohammad Bin Qasim passed through this area onward to Multan in 93-94 A.H. About 800 years back. Shahab-u-Din Ghouri conquered Uch Sharif, which at that time was capital of Sindh & Multan, and he established Islamic Government in this area after Mohammad Bin Qasim.
In the reign of Shams-ud-Din Altamash, for a period of twenty years this area was under rebel. Amir “Nasir-u-Din Qabacha” who established 1000 seats “Madarassa Ferozia” in Uch. Students from all Muslim countries enrolled in this “Madarassa”.
At one time, Qazi Minhaj-us-Siraj was the Head of this Madarassa. Qazi Minhaj-us-Siraj was the famous author of “Tabqat-e-Nasiri” a 22-Volume masterpiece of world and Muslim history. Later, he was elevated as Chief Qazi at Dehli. Tabqat-e-Nasiri was named after Sultan Nasir-u-Din Mahmood.
About 200-250 years before Shahab-u-Din Ghouri, Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi traveled to Somnat and passed through Mauj Garh a town near Bahawalpur. Earlier, Alexander the Great passed through “Uch” in 328 BC onward to Mesopotemia (Iraq) where he died.
Rahim Yar Khan City has been an important city of former Bahawalpur State, which was ruled by “Abbasi's Family” who had migrated from Egypt and first settled in Shikarpur area of Sindh Province. This family is called "Daud-Potra Family" named after of one of its forefathers. From Sindh they came to Bahawalpur area and defeated Hindu Raj and established “Abbasi's Emirate” about 240 years back.
Under the British rule, Bahawalpur was the best-administer state after Hyderabad-Deccan in India. In 1947, the Nawab of Bahawalpur acceded the state of Pakistan and it became a part of Pakistan.
Nawab Muhammad Sadiq, Nawab of Bahawalpur State in 1947 was a personal friend of Quaid-e-Azam Muahmmad Ali Jinnah. He donated money to the Government of Pakistan to run the government in early months after independence in 1947.
After the establishment of Canal system from Head Punjnad in 1930, Nawab of Bahawalpur having roots in Islamic Brotherhood settled large number of Muslims from Faisal Abad, Toba Tek Singh, Sheikhupura and areas of Punjab to the west of River Sutlej and thereby changed the demography of the state making it a Muslim majority state.
Before independence Mr. Nehru and Mr. Patel tried to persuade Nawab Muhammad Sadiq Abbasi to join India but he refused all temptations.
Just Imagine, if Bahwalpur State was merged into India, about 140 miles of our Railway Line would be passing through India while going to Karachi from Lahore and Multan and vice-versa.
Today Rahim Yar Khan City is the District Headquarter. It is linked by air the other parts of the country and to outside world. It is situated on the main Railway line and national highway linking Karachi, Lahore & Peshawar.
Long distance night day air-conditioned coaches including Daewoo Company link the city with all the parts of the country.
Al-Nayhan Family, the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, has undertaken a large number of welfare projects including Sheikh Zayed Hospital Complex, Sheikh Zayed Public College, School, Police Rehabilitation Center, Air-port which has been built with monetary help of the royal family, is the 4th largest one in the country.
Excellent educational facilities exit in the city of Rahim Yar Khan. Apart from Sheikh Zayed Medical College, there is sub-campus of Islamia Unversity Bahawalpur, Khawaja Farid Post-Graduate Government College, Government Women Degree College, Nicaas College, Punjab College, Superior College, Sheikh Zayed Public College and School, Army Public School, Beacon House School System, The Educators School, Ranger Public School, City School and many other good schools under TEVTA and Agriculture Department are also functional in the city. University Elementary College of Education is present in Khanpur for teachers training.
A sound industrial base is developing in the district. Well known Lever Brothers Ltd. (Now Called Unilever) has one of its main factories in Rahim Yar Khan, producing Dalda, Planta, Sunflower Oil, famous brands like Lux-Rexona and Detergents like Surf-Excel etc. Similarly, a very large Ahmad Oriental Textile, Ahmad Fine Textile, Ahmad Oil & Ghee mills, Poultry feed mills like Hamalia feeds, Coca-Cola Factory, Haleeb Foods Limited, Vita Bread Limited, Marble Factories, Ginning Factories, Flour mills provide an industrial base. Etihad Sugar Mills is the new addition in the industrial base of Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan. Now, there are four sugar mills in the district.
Rahim Yar Khan city has famous bazaars like Sadiq Bazar, Bano Bazar and Shahi Bazar having shops comparable to Anar-Kali, Bano Bazar and Liberty in Lahore.
On Political level, this district has the vast share in political power corridors of the country. At the moment, Two Federal ministers, three provincial ministers, two provincial and two federal parliamentary secretaries and one advisor to the Chief Minister Punjab belong to this district.
For a long time after inception of Pakistan till Bahawalpur State was not merged in West Pakistan, Syed Hassan Mehmood was the Prime Minister of the state. Later, he was also the leader of opposition in West Pakistan Assembly. He set up large number of educational institutions and played positive role in bringing inter ethnic harmony.
The district has 04 Tehsils including Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan, the other Tehsils are Sadiq Abad, Khanpur and Liaquat Pur. In Rahim Yar Khan district, Laghari, Raees, Makhdoom, Bajwa, Arain, Jut, Rana, families are well known political families.
Thesil Sadiq Abad, the Last Tehsil of Punjab borders Sindh province, has strong agriculture based economy & industry. Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) at Machi Goth is known all over Pakistan. One sugar Mill "United Sugar Mills" is in this Tehsil. World famous Bhong Mosque is also situated in this Tehsil. Numerous cotton and oil Mills are operational in this Tehsil. Another big fertilizer company named Fatima Fertilizer Company is being established here.
Liaquat Pur Tehsil adjoins district of Bahawalpur and across Head Punjad with Muzaffar Garh and Rajanpur districts across the Indus River.
Khanpur Tehsil has very fertile lands and has cotton & sugar based industry including Hamza Sugar Mill; Khanpur city is a well known junction on the Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar-Railway line. Chachran Sharif, the birthplace of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, the mystic and Rohi poet, is also in this Tehsil.
Rahim Yar Khan District has a population of 4.4 million. This is one of the top districts of Pakistan in Agricultural produce and number one district on the basis of revenue return.
People with all ethnicity and race; Saraiki, Punjabi, Balochis, Sindhis, Pathans live here harmoniously from generation. The City is mini Pakistan. The people have dedication to Islam and generally are very respectful to government officials. There is very interesting anecdote about government officials posted in R.Y.Khan district. i.e. when they are posted here, they weep before joining here as, they are being sent to desert or Kala Pani, but after they have served here for sometime, they again weep on their transfer because they got so much respect and comfort during thier service here & they do not want to leave.
Another interesting anecdote of Bahawalpur State is indicative of temperament of the people of different towns of the State.
Vast stretches of Cholistan desert around some areas of Rahim Yar Khan cast their mesmerizing effects on the mind of the people during the night when the moon is in it full bloom. City is surrounded by lush green agricultural lands and there are vast stretches of miles of mango gardens and canals. 30% mango export is done from this district.
The area has rich cultural heritage. The fort Drawar, which is a world renowned tourist attraction site, is at one hour drive from Rahim Yar Khan Another historical attractive site, Patan Minara, which was built in the time after Alexander the Great, is also situated in Rahim Yar Khan. Some historians mention that Abu-ul-Fazal and Faizi, the two of 9-Ratans, of the court of the King Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar were born near Patan Minara. This is the land of mystic poet Khawaja Ghulam Farid who’s Kafis reverberate in the air of Rohi. He lies buried in Mithankot. Many persons have personal libraries here in Rahim Yar Khan. One belongs to late Mir Zahid Hussain of Sadiq Abad having hundreds of books. Library has at hand written Holy Quran by famous Muslim Calligraphist “Yaqut Mustaasmi” written about 700 years ago. World-renowned Bhong Mosque, Abu Dhabi palace and Salluwali wild life farm are worth seeing places.
The district has been served by very dedicated civil service officer; some of them having poetic and literary taste. They have given very beautiful names to many towns and places in the district, eg. Bagh-o-Bahisht, Feroza in Rahim Yar Khan and Channi Goth (abode of moon) in Bahawalpur.
The actual spirit behind the establishment of Sheikh Zayed Medical College and Hospital, the Air-port, Sheikh Zayed Public College and School, Wild Life Farm, massive educational complex for five thousand students is Chaudary Muhammad Munir, Chairman of Board of Management of Sheikh Zayed Medical College/Hospital, Rahim Yar Khan. He is also providing financial support to more than hundred charity projects. He is also Honorary Consul of U.A.E. Every year he is giving financial support to students of SZMC, Rahim Yar Khan to the tune of 30-40 lac rupees.
Establishment of Sheikh Zayed Medical College in the city has put the city on International map. Recognition of this college by Pakistan Medical & Dental Council has begun entirely a new chapter in medical education and patient care. Not only the people of this district but also of upper Sind up to Daharki, Kashmore and South East Baluchistan up to Sui and Dera Bugti are being benefiting from it.